At last week’s Africa-RISING ‘quick feed‘ project inception meeting, Werner Stür shared some of the reasons why improved animal feeding strategies seem not to be taken up, and some ways to address this.
He started by arguing that current future livestock productivity challenges would benefit significantly from “a little more feed per animal.” He outlined four main ways to get this feed to the animals:
- Reduce the number of animals, improve herd structure or grow additional feed
- Introduce forage legumes to improve diet quality; or grasses to increase available feed quantity
- Grow specific fodder crops
- Strategic feeding of available feed resources – smarter use
He also explained that these technical solutions are much less simple to accomplish than we might think. Why?
- Technologies are seldom simple
- Smallholder farming systems are diverse
- People and livelihoods differ
- The incentives to increase production are nor always in place
He concluded that ‘one-size-fits all technologies’ don’t work. Instead we need need a systems-oriented innovation process that
- includes all relevant stakeholders
- takes account of the range of farming system and livelihoods in the area
- places innovation in the context of the value chain to ensure that farmers reap the benefits of innovations